The concern of western powers in Syria is not the protection of human rights, otherwise we would not be allied with the likes of the Saudi Royal Family nor with Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The following is a distilled analysis meant for easy consumption, hopefully preventing the dreaded tl;dr response. Therefore, your comments (and challenges) are most welcomed, below.
There are two pipelines proposed to bring Natural Gas from the middle East to western Europe, which would drastically cut into Russia’s market share (Many European nations get over 50% of their gas from Russia.) One plan proposed around 2009 runs
through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey to Europe. Assad, the leader of Syria and a strong ally of Russia, and Iran preferred to assist Iran in getting their gas to Europe with a plan crafted in around 2007, the Persian Pipeline. If you are going to lose market share better to lose it to an ally.
It’s especially pressing for Europe to get gas flowing from alternative sources than Russia, like from the US by LNG tanker
, since disputes between Russia and Ukraine, brought on by Bush administration meddling led to Russia cutting off gas to Europe in the winter of 2009
. “Russia … accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas…” for its own use (since the Ukrainians had been “cut off” for non payment).
This had happened previously in 2005
due, perhaps in part to Nato meddling or plain old Russian resistance to absolute US world dominance. These disputes led to serious energy crises in Europe, that, no doubt, Europe hopes a new pipeline from the middle east will prevent in the future.
What would also prevent such a crisis in European energy markets would be a healthy working relationship between Russia and Ukraine, but the US and its allies have been actively thwarting this
. A pipeline that circumvents Ukraine would also solve the problem by cutting out the middleman altogether, but that has not been built yet
So, in 2011 the US/UK capitalized upon the Arab Spring, and the drought crisis (in Syria, some scientists say was caused by global warming
, ironically, since the whole conflict is about fossil fuel transport!) to put pressure on Assad, get him, out and install a Qatari pipeline friendly regime. Assad was put in the middle of this power play between Russia and Iran and the interests of the the US/UK/Europe and the gulf states. Assad chose to stick with Russia and Iran.
Aside, one analyst points out that the US has had Syria in its crosshairs since the Bush II administration, which was eager to destabilize the entire region: Pipelines aside, the USG would have targeted Syria eventually anyway. This would fall in line with the allegations of General Wesley Clark.
Russia has been sending aid to Assad, to help him keep power during the civil war, so they can continue to block the Qatari pipeline. The US and NATO forces send aid to the rebels, so they can overthrow Assad and build the Qatari pipeline unhindered. Motivations of Israel in Syria exist as well, but, in the interest of brevity, I won’t go into those here.
At the same time as all of this, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) formed a new international bank
, to rival the World Bank and IMF, and finally launched it in 2015. Yes, the New development Bank is no match for the WB/IMF today. The trick, though, is always to kill these challenges in their infancy. This bank is more than enough reason to create (escalate existing) US tensions with Russia, and, more recently we have been seeing, with China, too. Economic hitmen were able to hobble Brazil
well enough, and perhaps western powers believe India and South Africa can be brought back into the fold. (speculation)
Our involvement in Syria has nothing to do with humanitarian aid or chemical weapons, just as US support of Neo Nazis in Ukraine has nothing to do with supporting the tenets of democracy. It has to do with world banking, the petrodollar, and ending Russian dominance in the European energy market, without empowering Iran by giving that marketshare to them. Russia is fighting for the bulk of its market share, the market share of allies, and by extension, its ability to thrive in the global economy.
Assad, who has higher approval rating numbers than even our own “sainted” Barack Obama had, is fighting for his LIFE. After the world saw what happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who can blame him for resisting?
Lucia Fiero is a member of the Massachusetts Pirate Party and current USPP Secretary. Follow her on Twitter @Bluelustreak